Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of businesses have adopted some form of telecommuting, whether fully remote or hybrid. While a remote work setup brings a host of benefits, such as cost savings, it also comes with cybersecurity risks.
In this blog post, we will discuss seven ways to improve your company's cybersecurity in the remote work era.
Read also: 3 Cybersecurity challenges of remote work
1. Craft a remote work policy
A remote work policy outlines all the requirements employees should meet when telecommuting, including:
- Responsibilities of a remote employee
- Administrative processes
- Working hours
- Devices, software, and networks to be used
- Modes of communication
- Data protection and confidentiality standards
By having a remote work policy in place, you ensure that your employees know what cybersecurity measures are expected of them.
2. Leverage MDM
A mobile device management (MDM) solution lets you easily manage all mobile devices — whether issued by your company or personally owned by your employees — used for work. It offers a unified console where you can remotely execute these security measures on all enrolled devices:
- Adjust device and software settings
- Set access privileges and restrictions
- Enforce password best practices and multifactor authentication (MFA)
- Run regular malware scans
- Deploy software updates and patches
- Monitor devices for malicious behavior and activities (e.g., unauthorized logins)
- Remotely lock a device or wipe company data or apps it contains if it gets lost or stolen
3. Use a password manager
A prevalent security issue even before the pandemic, poor password hygiene has worsened with the rise of remote work. Keeper's 2021 Workplace Password Malpractice Survey revealed that 66% of employees are more likely to write work-related passwords on paper while working from home than they are while working in an office.
To effectively mitigate the risk of poor password hygiene, your company should use a password manager. A password manager stores, encrypts, and manages all of your employees’ login credentials for their various accounts. A staff member simply needs to use one master password to unlock the password manager and gain access to all of their credentials and accounts.
Password managers can also create strong and unique passwords across multiple accounts. This helps prevent employees from reusing passwords and using weak ones. The best password managers even provide a password security score based on metrics like password reuse, letting you uncover and address potential risks.
4. Enable MFA
MFA adds an extra layer of security by requiring users to provide more than one proof of their identity before they are given network access. Examples of such proof include:
- Something you know – password, answer to a personal security question
- Something you possess – access badge, one-time pin generated by a smartphone app
- Something you are – facial, iris, or fingerprint scan
With MFA in place, even if hackers steal an employee’s login credentials, they won’t be able to access your company’s network until they fulfill the other verification requirements.
5. Deploy a VPN
Remote workers may access your company’s network using unsecured or public Wi-Fi networks. If they do, hackers may intercept their internet traffic to eavesdrop on or even manipulate your business’s communications.
To mitigate this risk, require employees to use a virtual private network (VPN). A VPN encrypts all traffic between a user’s device and your company’s network, enabling you to keep company data safe. It also masks a user’s real IP address, making it more difficult for hackers to track the user’s actual location and launch targeted attacks.
6. Conduct cybersecurity training
Implementing multiple technical security measures, such as MFA and VPNs, is essential in keeping cyberthreats at bay. However, users can inadvertently compromise such measures. For example, your employees may accidentally disable their device’s VPN. People are less likely to commit such mistakes if they are properly trained in cybersecurity.
Educate all of your employees on how to spot and respond to various cyberthreats, such as phishing and malware. Teach them about security best practices and your company’s IT security policies. By undergoing cybersecurity training, employees will be in a better position to protect themselves and your company's data.
7. Regularly review and update your security measures
As the remote work landscape continues to change, so too should your company's cybersecurity measures. Conduct regular reviews of your security policies and procedures to ensure that they are still relevant and effective. Should you make any changes to your security measures, make sure to inform your employees.
Need help implementing these tips? Turn to the IT experts of SpectrumWise. With our help, your company’s cyber defenses will always stay strong even in the remote work era. Schedule a consultation with us today.